I've visited heaven and hell at the same place

When thinking about where to go in Argentina, instead of the natural beauty of the southern Patagonia I choose the culturally rich north and the Iguazú falls, which is a UNESCO site. To tell the truth I haven't heard much about this fall before, shame on me, so the surprise and astonishment was even bigger when finally there.

Iguazú Falls is at the border of Argentina and Brasil, at the edge of the Paraná Plateau. Altogether it is 2,7 km (1,7 mi) wide, and the waterfalls vary between 60 to 82 meters (200 to 270 ft). There are two international airports accepting tourist, one on the Argentine and one on the Brazilian side. So on a warm December morning we took off from Buenos Aires. From the plane it was amazing to see how the landscape was changing from the flat and yellow Pampas to the huge and green subtropical rain forest. Soon the plane landed in the middle of the jungle at the Argentine side, but as the accommodation was in Brasil we crossed the border through Parana-river. First the bridge was painted to Argentine colours, then in the middle it changed to Brasilian, and I was in Brasil!

Argentine-Brazilian border

The hotel was in the rain forest in a beautiful park, and at the back of the garden the Iguazú river  was running into Parana. Since the jungle was just next door sometimes iguanas, kolibris and coatis were crossing our ways at the pool area. I was amazed of this rich fauna which I only saw in zoo until now. These freely running animals also made me a bit worried, after having heard that the most common mammal in the forest was the puma.


In the neighborhood was the Parque das Aves (Park of the Birds). First I thought that it would be a usual boring tour where I will see poor little birds behind cages, but I have never thought of actually walking next to tucans and ararat parrots, and if I had had the courage I could have even touched them. Inside the park I met many curious birds who really wanted to make friendship with me, if I am not running away screaming. Hopefully, all those butterflies were not offended either, which tried to fly on me, with no success.

Tucan attack
The next morning finally we visited the Igauzú-falls. One can watch it from both the Brasilian and the Argentine sides. The difference is, that on the Brasilian side one can see the waterfall vis-a-vis, while from the Argentine side one can walk above, under and besides the several smaller and bigger waterfalls. This beautiful natural landscape looked like how I would imagine heaven on Earth. Where the water fell into the lake, huge amount of vapor released up into the sky shaping clouds. Those naughty drops however, which were lazy to fly up in the sky, landed on me.

View from the Brazilian side, just like in heaven
Standing in the falls

It is recommended to prepare with raincoat, however one can always buy it at the entrance. In case you visit a tourist attraction be prepared that foreigners have different pricing than locals: usually double or triple price. Very interestingly, it is not called discrimination, but contrary, reduced prices for locals help to enhance local tourism. Therefore, if locals can not identify their citizenship, the same price is applicable for them as for foreigners.

The next morning the Argentine side promised more adventures and more water as well, as on this side one can walk on the side of the actual waterfall. One of the greatest attraction is the Devil's Throat, a U-shape waterfall where you can get with a little train and a few minutes of walking. The amount of water falling down is just amazing. Of course, my clothes got wet again, but thanks to the sunny and warm day, I was dry in half an hour.

However, this amount of water was nothing compared to what I got during the next adventure. I realized only shortly before, that it was part of the tour, that a rubber boat would take us under the waterfall. I got so frightened while we took off the majority of our clothes and belongings, and put them in a water-resist bag, because I could hardly imagine what I should expect. I have never gone under a waterfall. And this one was huge. I slowly took a seat somewhere behind, where I expected the least amount of water, then tried to think about something nice, while we slowly approached the giant and loud water. Then I do not remember the next seconds, because we drove under the fall and it all came on us directly. I saw and heard nothing, but was constantly screaming of excitement, like in a roller coaster. Of course, while I was under I wanted to escape, but when I was over it and thinking back, it was great fun. We all got so damn wet, so we made speedy rides with the boat on the river. Though it was so cold in the wind, it and the sun helped to dry up a bit. At the shore a big track waited for us, which took us back to the entrance, while we fully dried.

This is how I felt in heaven in this beautiful land, but also in hell under the huge amount of water, at the same time.  

Devil's Throat

Before I got wet again
We went under the waterfalls with these rubber boats

About Tiny Girl With Big Bag

Hobby writer and autodidact photographer whose passion is to travel and get to know new people and cultures. She has been on 4 continents and 30 countries, and the outcome is this travel blog where she shares travel stories, thoughts, tips and photography always through a subjective eye.

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  1. Seems like a fabulous adventure. Love your photo of the falls and the rainbow.

    1. Thank you :) indeed it was a beautiful and exciting 2-day adventure.

  2. Oh your photos are awesome! My husband wants to go here very badly. It wasn't ever exactly on my list (but I go where he does), but this helps make it more appealing. ;)

    1. Hi Courtney! I think this is such a beautiful place with an amazing subtropical flora and fauna, that I can truly recommend you to visit. And if possible, do not miss the Birds' Park, it was so much fun :) Thanks for your comment!

  3. Looks like a great adventure, great post and love the photos.

  4. Did you join the Buenos Aires Iguazu trip with Say Hueque Tours? http://www.sayhueque.com/argentina_tours/featured_trips.php

    1. Hey, I did it with another tour operator. I am just looking for a tour for a friend of mine for April, 4 days/ 3 nights at Iguazu. Let me know if you have a competitive offer :)